So the past month and half has been filled to the brim with so many good things. First, let us apologize for the lack of updates here. We helped move the clinic to it's new building (which is amazing!), moved our family into the old clinic house (we are back on our street and loving it), and we averaged 2 births a day in the midst of it. :) Looking back on October, we are thankful for the adundance of transitions that have brought us to where we are today. One of the things we were most thankful for was a visit from our dearest friend, Lyndi. She travelled all the way from Tanzania for a 2 week internship at the clinic and a visit with us. We had a ball with her! Our families have been close for over 14 years now and it was a sweet blessing to be able to have her with us.
One of the most exciting parts of all the changes and her visit was the very first night we were in our new home. We had moved the very last of the things in and had just finished dinner, sitting down to look at the mess that was our stuff scattered and strewn throughout a new space. Tired from the day, we talked about how this was our 4th move this year. The kids got a kick out that.... as did I because if you know us, you know we do not enjoy moving and if any of you were there helping us pack up our life to come here, you know it's crazy. But, being forced to move so much has afforded us the luxury of simplifiying our lives. Less stuff= Less to move. And I like that.
So, just as we sat down and the doorbell rang....... I knew what it was. You see the clinic had just moved earlier that morning. And before it did, we made sure to keep a bed and birthing set (all you would need at a birth) here in one of the small rooms. Reason being that we thought women might still come to this house if they didn't know the clinic moved. And often times, when women arrive at the birth clinic, they are ready to have their baby... literally.
Back to the doorbell. I ran through the boxes and suitcases that covered our livingroom to get through the door to get out to the front gate. As I opened the doors, I notice a pregnant mamma smiling at me, pointing downward saying the baby is coming...... With a slight language barrier between us, we motioned to each other throughout the next few minutes to communicate.
I lead her into our home, as Lyndi got the bed ready and we brought her into the safe little room we had set up. Our plan was always to call the midwives at the clinic if we had a woman come to the house and the ambulance driver would come bring them to the new clinic. BUT, it was clear this woman was not going anywhere. Teddy and the boys were outside the room, being very quiet and wondering what was going to happen next. Within seconds, Vicki (my preceptor) made it to my door and another second later, a beautiful baby girl emerged healthy and happy.
It was silent in the moments following the birth. My kids and husband hearing a newborn's cry and had looks of wonder on their faces. Here in our new home, a family had just been expanded.
The momma, her husband, and new baby stayed the night. Marlene, Lyndi and I cared for the new family. Between 3 midwives, we kept watch throughout the night.
As everyone slept soundly, I unpacked and talked with God about the wonder of my life. About the hardships and the joys, the lessons that are easy to learn and the ones that you have to repeat over and over. About the absolute privilege it is to partner with Him in caring for His women and children and the sacrifice it requires. About the ups and downs of living a nomadic life which is led by His hand and His will. About how incredibly thankful I was that my children got to be a part of the miracle that is birth.......And mostly, I talked with Him about how there is really nothing that I hold onto anymore. It's all His. My time, my body, my sleep (or lack of), my family, our home etc.... And when I forget that it's all His, I have asked Him to gently yet firmly remind me.......
........And birth, in every way it happens, reminds me. It helps me stay in that space between the now and the not yet. I see the kingdom clearer as I am watching and waiting and protecting the process of birth.
In some small way, I think a midwife is to a mother and child what Jesus is to the church.
The beauty I see in the motherbaby is unlike anything I can find elsewhere.
The protection I feel over them is fierce.
The potential I envision is measureless.
What I am willing to sacrifice for them pushes me beyond what I thought I had in me,
and the joy that I find in them, when they are staring into each others eyes, both safe and sound, reminds me that I am alive.
Our whole family was so amazed at God's grace that night.
We all awoke that first morning in our new home to a joyful family who was thankful and eager to get home and introduce this little one to the rest of the family.
Filipino's say it is a true blessing to have a birth in your home. I have to say I agree.
Soon, we will be posting some new pictures from the past few weeks.
In the mean time, please keep our family in your prayers as we continue to serve the women and children here and press even more into our training.
Peace be with you.